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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 10, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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package. that probably doesn't make a lot of sense. we have the probably the biggest harm right now, there are lots of millions of people in america who are too poor to afford health insurance because they are in a state that didn't expand medicaid, and the way that the supreme court determined the medicaid decision we have now millions of people in the country who literally don't qualify for anything and are kind of in a catch 22. . .
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>> so you mentioned the supreme court case. i want to get in a minute for bend the cost curve which seems to be occurring already, but as result of obamacare, made as a result of other things. but could you give the audience here and the students a quick summary of what's at stake in the burwell case in these five words, and what you think might happen if the supreme court comes in and says you can have these exchange is funded the way they are funded. >> that's actually for words established by the states. those are the keywords, and the plaintiffs have put forward an argument that suggests that only states that set up their own
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help exchanges are entitled to subsidies for those constituents. and i would be 17 states. so in 34 states if the plaintiff prevails in this case the subsidies, which make insurance affordable for now about 8 million people who have signed up for coverage would cease to exist. but that's just step one. the subsidies would go away. the affordable care act all ready has a provision that if you fall below a certain level if insurance still is not affordable even with the subsidy, or is the requirement that you purchase interest. for instance, in a state that has an expanded medicaid who are at poverty level don't have to buy insurance in the private market. if you take with the subsidies that i didn't have an additional perhaps 68 and the people who suddenly have under
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for the insurance and they drop out of the market entirely. insurance companies meanwhile, have a signed risk pools based on new customers, projected rates based on the customers but they would have existing customers who stay in the workplace, lots of people purchasing individual coverage who are not on the market and suddenly the their rates would skyrocket. you would have a domino effect of not individuals losing coverage but everyone else who is in the individual market in that state would suddenly be jeopardized. and i would suggest some private insurance companies would see their portfolios in great jeopardy pretty quickly. i would say having been there for battle all the debate, all the testimony, all the hearing, but lead the implementation there was never a conversation suggestion testimony
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amendment, discussion either during the passage of the bill or certainly any regulation that we ever wrote any conversation that i had with my former colleagues, governors around the country that said oh, by the way, if you don't set up your own exchange, your citizens won't have coverage. and i think it is it's difficult to read what is a national framework, a national law, national mandate, national coverage and say that this was the intent but that's what the plaintiffs suggest. >> so leader, 34 states don't have, they have not established their own exchange is or that operate their own exchanges. so it was the sector is suggesting is correct committee supreme court ruled that this funding mechanism was unconstitutional, doesn't that put extorted pressure on the governors of the states, most of whom are republicans? what is it you think would be the reaction, and how would
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washington come together, or not, to solve this problem how could it? >> that will be, i mean, as the secretary said maybe this will be the last court case or court challenge because if the court comes down the side against the proponents of the law then we will see whether the administration will come together and work with republicans on the hill or if not, are they going to go around and try and work with the governors and the legislatures of the states because they will have to then i assume comply with a holding by the court which would say that they have to establish an exchange. and so it could very well put pressure there as well. but i think, take a step back. we had this medicaid decision as the sector point out that was not consistent with what the president and the administration wanted that to happen as well. so you've seen a lot of state. i know mine in virginia's not expanded medicaid.
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and if you look at the numbers under the aca, at least i think it, secretary, if i'm correct, half of the participants now are under aca our medicaid participants. and i know in talking to a lot of the provider community, very difficult for providers to stay in business, for doctors to stay in business at the medicare reimbursement rate. there needs to be some realization there that that's not a sustainable situation either. so look, if the court comes down and says, and i think what you will see is a real unraveling of this law the way the secretary said, that if there's no longer affordable insurance plan for a lot of people, millions they will go without as well as insurance companies are going to be facing a very daunting situation in some instances. so that goes back to where it can you head. i said earlier the republicans in my opinion are not going to support a mandate.
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the secretary talked about if you're going to have community rages, if you're going to have the kind of construct of law that obamacare is then yes, they that's why you need a mandate but that's where the republicans are not coming from, they are not saying that you need to go and establish these bands of ratings and speed if you get rid of preexisting conditions. >> but what i'm saying is that construct of the law right now is there's a severe inflation in cost because of mandated benefits that washington has decided needs to be in these plans. now, the states on top of that have been mandated benefits, that's a problem. it increases costs that's the problem. you can watch the mandated. we have the will combat but there are and hope we can get to the kind of things that are united states now in the health care marketplace. see messages recently came out and said -- cms -- we want
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quality-based payments, we want bundled payments. those are kind of things i think everyone is for. the recently passed sgr pass or fix absolutely going in that direction. >> you took my next question which was a rare but hopeful example of a bipartisan deal, the fix the medicare rates, and it also changed the way health care is provided in a meaningful way in terms of incentives and reimbursement. correct? >> the sustainable growth rate the sgr is really about doctor pay but there are teachers in the house passed bill as you know the senate has not tested. they will deal with it when they come back and we hope it will be a rare bipartisan triumph but it does contain a lot of elements that repeat actually framework that construct an out of the affordable care act around delivery system reform,
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moving to a value-based payment picking up accelerated issues that cms has put on the table but this is again the framework that the law actually jumpstarted in 2010. it's been very much under way. there are lots of people, a lot of the attention i would say 90% of intention of the press everybody else has been on the mark place our medicaid expansion. that's a slice of the market. but it's like watching synchronized swimming and only paying attention to the bathing caps because there's a lot going on underneath the water. underneath the water affects all of us is what kind of care you get in the hospital, it's how providers are reimbursed. it's for the person having electronic records that was a bill prior to the affordable care act, part of the recovery act but can you imagine a $3 trillion industry which is
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resilient to thousand eight with exchange most information on paper file? couldn't measure it, couldn't see it, couldn't tell what was going on. has dramatically changed. so there is an unlocking i would say of innovation and ingenuity and private sector technology coming to jumpstart issues around deficiencies in health care and medicare and better patient care that we had never seen before. but the framework really was this administration has to jump the affordable care act which is set for the first time gave cms, the centers for medicare and medicaid services, who spent $1 trillion a year on health care. so a third of the spend is out of the public sector plans. finally, said we're going to use that public sector leverage to
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align outcomes with what's going on. and 50 cms, and this is in the law, if there are protocols found to lower costs and improve quality, you can take into scale the administrator work to you don't have to run the demo project. evaluated, come back to cards they to increase. it is now in the law. that's a huge sea change, and private employers and others are thrilled because they've been trying to do this for a long time but medicare has a big stick in the marketplace and was stuck in fee-for-service as recent as 2011, 0% of medicare payments, last year which were $585 billion, give or take a billion, 0% or in any kind of value-based payment. and cms is committed to having a 50% by 2018. it's now at 30. and good affordability at 50. that is an enormous change in
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the way financial incentives in line with outcomes. and will make a huge difference to everybody. >> leader, you and the private sector around venture capital. using investments being made by businesses and health care space. what's the most exciting thing you're saying out there when you look to the future? was happening with deficiencies and improved outcomes as a result of the things the secretary just imagine? >> right now i'm vice chairman of the company, an investment bank. we have a fairly robust health care practice and what we are seeing is there's a lot of increased focus of attention on a lot of providers. you were seeing a lot of private equity interest coming into the space. you are also seeing big players looking at and there's a lot of press reports about big acquisitions and mergers and consolidation. and i think that's a direct result of what the secretary
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referred to about the move toward quality-based payment systems. in -- in other words, payment system that are real outcome based with a different providers surrounding a patient's care are now, all assuming a piece of the risk. and it's not just fee-for-service anymore. and it is really making sense. i read this article in "the new york times," i think like last week, it was the company that has just started that basically the primary care company, and they did almost like a decapitated payment per patient and that's all they did and they have to figure out how to best produce an outcome. and there is no coding. you don't have come here, the providers of the back officers sitting there to figure out what it is, what procedure et cetera. they give an example of one of these primary care providers and they have a lot of health
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coaches that help the physicians. i figured out that this woman had diabetes was unable to take repeal. and that was the problem. idea that was not caught, then she would have gone into a hospital and endured all these additional expenses. so it's just a little bit of a common sense factor as well. so you're saying capital flow in. you are seeing, in the pharmacy's, i know peggy is here, the incredible piece of our health care system is i think one of the most incredible is innovation. some would say that is also contribute to the cost. and again if you look back at those rankings which always don't sit well with me because we are different in this country but were different on how we treat the start of life, neonatal care and what counts as a live birth and what doesn't versus other countries. in the same way we value life at
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the end of the spectrum as well which, you know, cost some contentiousness in the debate. but i believe that's a good thing that we value life like that. but we also are the leaders on innovation and the first to attempt the innovative measures are the first to pay. and so when you look at the incredible amount of capital going in to biotech and all of this, all of the new type of medicines that are out there that are tailored to the disease and the person, just phenomenal. went i served was always very free focused on seeing that the government place a proper role in funding basic research. because there can be such leveraged, not only from saving lives, helping cure disease, it also does help your budget. if you cure a disease you are not going down the outlays you did. so it just makes sense to me. there's a lot of interest
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obviously in private capital flowing into some of what has been created because of nih and nsf. when you think about innovation and defenses of medicine, personalized medicine, personal is for the individual and the disease, it sounds expensive and my question is how are the providers and payers reconciling that? it seems like the pharmaceutical industry which is inventing and bring a lot of these to market is siding with the insurance industry more and more. how is that going to sort itself out over time? >> welcome we have a different system in this country than anybody in terms of drug pricing. we in the united states medicare is prohibited by law from negotiating for drug prices. medicaid can. governors do. i could negotiate that i could
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set a formulary and medicaid. that is not legal for medicare. the fda i think appropriately is not allowed to consider costs when they're approving a drug but you never want come unico folks to say this would be brilliant but when i could put on the market because it's going to cost too much money. but there's really no other countries have come unico put caps on drug pricing and ceilings, and lots of places around the world you can buy drugs that are really invented here in the united states discovered in the united states and soldier in the united states for 30-40% more than they are sold to there is people around the world. i think eventually there's likely to be a conversation and will not solve this tonight, steve, of whether america should continue to basically fund the r&d for the entire farm industry. into the future.
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and what kind of burden that put on our health consumers that isn't there also. but just a question that unlocking the human genome and mapping dna has lent itself to incredible possibilities. i think the latest data and peggy is here's what i get this wrong, just pretend you didn't hear this, peggy, i think fda has 60 or more drugs that they consider breakthrough drugs. and about 80% are in the targeted therapy region, and that's just starting to explode. so there is a cost factor but i think also there's a huge benefit factor. one issue that is not going in the drug area or in a visionary that i think is a focus and is a growing focus is back to sort of, part of the delivery system
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issues are finally paying doctors to keep people healthy in the first place. you think about fee-for-service the way a lot of reimbursement occurred is to the acute care system. if you're patient state of hospital, in fact you are often not as lucratively rewarded as if you're patient ended up in the hospital. and that such as a providers always did want to keep people healthy, but had to shift financial incentives and you heard leader cantor talk about risk-sharing pixel is a provider hesitation a diabetic, and can through earlier intervention wraparound care, following up did he or she built a medication, is the medication working, prevent the next hospitalization then they now will get a share of the savings. and i think that's an incentive
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that not only leads to better care but more appropriate intervention. people watching the pathway that particularly chronically ill patients have and how many times come how many emergency room visits there are big some of us can't be avoided but a number of them can with follow-up care and with somebody looking out for them. so i think that's all a part of the search. the other part of is looking at smoking and obesity. the two underlying causes of most chronic diseases and really doubling down on going after smoking again helping people here. here's a great factoid, you can use in your next trivia context. medicare, five years ago would pay for medicare beneficiary to get smoking cessation treatment once they were identified with lung cancer. but not before.
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okay? make a lot of sense? a4a diabetic to have an indication. all of follow-up care all the post-amputation treatment but not necessarily all the benefits that it took to intervene more dramatically, more quickly, wraparound care that would perhaps have prevented that. so again some of the way that we pay really does create a different way to practice. and measuring and looking at what's happening across the system, like in times of intense are being done in this case as opposed to this case, what the outcomes look-alike how people can be kept healthier for longer periods of time i think is just beginning to happen. it's really an interface finally of technology and health care in a way that i think can lead to a
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lot -- >> the incentives and that's what the sect i talked about the incentives are right when you talk about preventive care and you're talking about healthy living and wellness. this is part of the aca that came out and had and allowed for some of these sort of incentives i private employers to put in place for their beneficiaries to reach some of the rewards for the healthy behavior. and it's also relative to the individual. the problem is you've got another arm of government now coming in and filing suit, the eeoc, against some of these plans because of what they claim is a violation of the ada. so we've got to be careful now. i am all for i think incentives make a huge difference. it really does. it's risk allocation, is where is the incentive to share in some of the game if you taken the risk.
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so you know, we've got to be careful all the time we may say we can fix this in the government standpoint, let's do this and then you see once again the government goes back gratis has no that's not where it needs to be. so i think this goes back to the larger picture. if the supreme court case comes down against obamacare, then you're going to have real, although side you have to step up and i think the sensitivity on the republican side is going to be about we've got to roll back the sense that we can fix all problems here, but instead why don't we create the platform our invited for the private sector to do that which we believe could lead to healthier lives and to less costly health care. >> we have the supreme court rules against the plan, are you optimistic that the republican majorities will step up and look at ways that the act can move forward and fix what needs to be
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fixed and not vote for the 57th time to repeal? >> so what -- >> just curious. >> you know as you know and i said before, so the really tough part of that law haven't yet been implemented. there is a lot of discussion around the cadillac tax now and that's not just republican opposition. there's a lot of democratic and then the labor unions very much opposed to the cadillac tax. so you've got i think and was hit earlier we have an election that is coming in november 16 and these kinds of questions i think are going to be a real test for the next president. and his or her administration. because are you going to subject all to the mandate? are you going to implement the cadillac tax that is coming? and these are questions not just for republicans if the law is
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and stands as it is it's a question for i think both parties. but i would say this, having been served you know for six years in the republican leadership, one of the things i want to stress most come again risk and reward, incentive. going back to the prescription drug arena, the farmer, the biotech, there's nothing more valuable i believe long-term and a garden that researched, to create incentives for the private sector to continue to risk capital to create these life-saving drugs that we become its custom to in this country. and you're right other countries are living off of us. i do know what the answer is because it was so we're not going to do it unless you do it we are all going to be out of luck again. but i do that's why have always opposed the government coming in and saying i am going to come
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negotiate with you because instead of being price-fixing. in your beginning to play with risk and reward that the country was based on and your arrival to snuff out some of the innovation and life-saving drugs that we have seen. so that too and it was constantly part of the debate on the fiscal and as we dealt with the sequestered them as we dealt with what the trade-offs were. and i believe got to be very mindful of that and hopefully will not get there with the government is in the abdicating what the prices are. >> so that's it. >> i think we have a few minutes for some questions from the audience, if i'm not mistaken. and mr. mcintyre five minutes, okay. we've got microphones on either side if anybody has a question please stand up, state your name and your affiliation. hope you are an nyu affiliated
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individual. >> dapper from gaithersburg, maryland. i'm a 27 year alum of nyu. >> perfect. >> you will make it. pay the tuition, trust me. pay the loans off, you will make it. reward will come. one we have an incredible administrative burden in the health care system. i happen to work in the pharmaceutical industry and access to getting drugs i putting hurdles with prior authorization gets in way of patient care. i am a pharmacist by training so i care about patients. it's important to me but one of the other administrative burdens or lack of harmonization is actually within the government itself. the government is the largest pair of health care but there's so many systems. we designated administration active military and their beneficiaries. we've got medicare medicaid. how come we haven't gotten some harmonization there? it is a single player. why have we not kind of
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streamlined what the federal government is paying for all those beneficiaries so we can get some economy discount amateur leader cantor in your business you can appreciate. >> does anybody want to take the first shot? >> well, i think there was there is conversation i would say in my time there and certainly a lot of dialogue particularly with the va system and hhs. but medicaid is run mostly by the states. medicare is a big federal program, and within at least military come as you know active military have a different system than the va has. so it's multiple systems as you say. i think they're clearly could be
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some efficiencies of scale. there is talk about eventually getting to the point where once the our electronic records that can talk to each other looking across the systems in ways that they can be greater opportunities to leverage contracting ability but you're right, right now it is very separate and silo systems. those systems of most americans are in, the private insurance system is a world unto itself with 50 plans in one company in one state. so we still one of the reasons that i think we are higher per capita basically anybody else on the face of the earth is we do have a much higher administrative burden. some of that is private insurance, but the government programs i can't speak for the va or defense department, but at
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least medicare runs on about a two to 3% overall administrative costs. which is pretty good for 53 and a half million beneficiaries. i wish we could get private insurers to lower the costs in that ballpark. >> first of all i like this just because if the government is going to sit there and say i tend to go and say this is good for everybody, why didn't they do it for itself? so i do think you're right about all the different arms of the federal government should begin to think about it at least make it easier for providers. so maybe there's an opportunity for the two sides to come together on that. you know, secretary you talked about the low administered caused i think they're probably need to be some more discussion on that because i don't believe there's a lot of folks here in this town who to believe that the government can actually function cheaper, more effectively than the private sector. so you threw that out there.
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should probably be a point of discussion because if it's true because we had a big discussion on the democratic side of the aisle during the aca discussion. there was a government option remember there was a lot of discussion, a lot of support on the democratic side of the aisle. there was a majority in the house and innocent at the time that they wanted the government to be a competitive with the private sector and be the regulator. and the argument given at the time was we need the government in there somehow to keep the private sector on us because we can't have a profit that is being made in the private sector. was the argument being made. and so i just again, my reaction when you see some the government can operate at 2% and why isn't the private sector is not doing so and what is the outcome, i think there needs to be a lot more discussion on the. >> just a snapshot, i know we're running out of time and this is one question medicare advantage
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started in the early 90s as a private sector competitor to medicare. the three was the private sector could run more efficiently and they actually in the statute creating the possibility were to be targeted at 90% of fee-for-service. we can do it at 90% to by the time this administration came in medicare advantage was that 113% of fee-for-service with no health benefits that were measurable. support of what the aca did is bring that back down but just that one snapshot where the private sector was competing supposedly going to run -- >> apples to apples but it wasn't necessary to right? >> no, it was medicaid to medicare. >> in may versus fee-for-service. >> correct. started at 90% and went to -- >> but then you introducing us
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what the discussion discussion needs to be a lot longer because i introduced the concept of choice right? >> another question. i think we're almost out of time but go ahead please. >> keep our answers shorter. >> so i had a question about sort of we are not is getting into abomination and it seems like we are sort of, we have no patience with the way we are reacting to the ac. seems like it should be 10 or 20 years before we start to see real results. we are starting to see some but policy always takes a lot of time. i was just curious secretary how long do you think it should take for the ac to really show the true results? i know the cbo scores lies in the 2025 over 2026 now i guess that what you think? the second question is about consolidation. i was wondering how you feel about some of the things were seeing now with a lot of hospitals and physician groups
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being consolidated with facilities and things like that? >> i would just do a quick answer to the first. i clearly, this is a major framework, assuming supreme court cases are survived that will evolve over time where the condition that the 50 anniversary of medicare and medicaid which look very different now than they did 50 years ago, have evolved over time, have been updated and i would hope that this sets a new chapter company framework that could do just the same. the early results are pretty impressive with millions of people with coverage but also delivery system reform and cost. five years into the aca all of
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those issues are trained in a positive way. so we will see but i think this will evolve over time. >> i'm not sure i followed the question with the facility fees question in there. i wouldn't want to elaborate on that. >> i was just curious -- [inaudible] very much concerned chronic care patients especially go to the hospital a lot and they get this pact on feet and they haven't -- i was one if it's a cause of the aca, like maybe not the cause but just going back to the hospital. >> i don't, right, i don't think it's the ac. again i'm not familiar with what you are referring to but i would just say that consolidation i believe is the result of a movement towards the more
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bundled payment structure. and as we said before, it's basically like all parties are in this together. like you're going to have the patient, the insurance company, hospital the doctors the specials and whatever providers are involved, all best in the outcome of the patient. and if the outcome can be achieved at a lower price and anyone gets to participate in some of that savings. so to me that is it's a question of a different risk allocation with more parties undertaking the risk then you care if you're an insurance company about who and physician group may be. you care if your hospital with a physician group may be because they are pulling some of the weight. so i think that's what's driving some of interesting and -- summed interest in consolidations. >> listen, thank you very much madam secretary, mr. leader. again very much for coming.
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thank you to all of you, and thanks to nyu washington for hosting this event. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> as i hope you know we have an exciting panel plant in 10 minutes. i hope you will join us again for the panel. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> today on q&a declare on this book the burden of a nation, legendary film maker and a crusading editor reignited america's civil war about the 1915 movie of the same title. the film was shown to present woodrow wilson at the white house and across the nation despite attempts by african-american civil rights advocate and newspaper publisher william trotter and others to
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stop it. it was criticized for the portrayal in the film of african-americans in the post-civil war era. of the next u.s. policy went americans are taken hostage, former fbi negotiator gary noesner, debra tice, the mother of austin tice, and american journalists missing in syria since 2012 and barak barfi spokesperson for the family of steven sotloff, an american journalist killed i suspect they all talk about their experiences. >> good afternoon to welcome to the new america foundation. i'm peter bergen, i run the program here. we are here to discuss a very difficult subject which is americans held hostage overseas. as many of you know the white
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house is engaged in a review of our hostage policy which has right now i think very much constrained by the idea that he has discovered will make no concessions. doesn't interest is thinking that they make. they said we will negotiate but we will not make concessions which i think is a distinct -- distinct without a difference. is the idea we are not going to give you anything. that doesn't seem to like much of a negotiated position. so we have a really outstanding panel of people to discuss these difficult issues. gary noesner who is chief fbi hostage negotiator for many years. he has been involved in negotiations involving 120 overseas kidnapping cases involving american citizens. he had a long career in the fbi 30 years and then prior to his retirement became senior vice
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president of control risk and while he was there that's when i got to know gary. he was very much involved in the case of the americans were taken for almost, more than half a decade. he continues to consult with control risk part-time and he is also the author of an excellent book which is available outside, and i'm sure he would be happy to sign for you. we are also joined by deborah tice was the mother of seven putting her oldest son austin who was taken hostage to a half years ago, kidnapped in series in august 2012. austin was working for mcclatchy and the "washington post" among other publications. and then finally barak barfi who is a colleague of ours who is a journalist, arabic who specializes in reporting from libya, egypt syria of the
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country. he was the principal advisor to the family of steven sotloff an american journalist was as gigabyte isis as you all know and he shares with -- serves as the zoloft spokesman. >> thank you peter. [inaudible] it's a crime that's been around quite a long time and we've had to deal with it. the u.s. policy is officially as peter says we will not make substantive concessions to terrorists. and that has morphed through the years to become no rants and often no negotiations although s.b. to suggest some are now saying we can negotiate. let me give you a bit of the background. probably 85-90% of kidnappings we have around the world are for criminal purposes. u.s. law does not prohibit a family or a corporation from
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paying a ransom in a criminal kidnapped case. the remaining 10-15% probably less than that practically speaking our kidnappings undertaken by terrorist groups. now terrorist groups on the state department list. we have to examine that because not every terrorist kidnapping is for political purposes. for example, through my crib most of the kidnappings we worked with the farc were simply efforts to obtain money. and we would negotiate with them in the normal fashion and secure the safe release. i think one of the issues we have to contend with is the fact that there's very, very few americans overall taken. we probably have anywhere from 10 to 12 per year historically, and almost all of those are by criminal undertakings. the major concern with terrorism
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of course is that pain in -- the payment of ransom provides me to support for these organizations. there is the. there is a question anytime a kind a ransom is paid to kidnappers be a criminal or political it encourages more kidnappings. however, what choices are often left with to deal with these situations? escape is a very infrequent event in these instances. military rescue, very dramatic but also high risk for the hostages at the time and hostages are most likely to be killed. and so the outcomes are generally best achieved through the negotiation process. in 1990 the fbi began deploying hostage negotiators are abroad in response to the kidnapping of american citizens as dictated by law. we have an enormous success rate in the 13 years last 13 years of my crib where we worked about 120 of these cases.
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i think the fbi has probably worked that many since. how did we do that? we worked with the other authorities in the training industry. we worked with the families. the policy we adopted then was essentially going back to the lindbergh kidnapping, and that is the decision whether or not to pay is the decision of the family. so we would deploy and we would ask the family or the victim corporation, company what they wanted to do. if they decided to pay a ransom even though that was officially frowned upon by the u.s. government, we did not withdraw our support the premise thing we need to be involved in order to identify, locate and hopefully potentially prosecute the kidnappers after we were able to secure the safe release of the victim. because of that we had in 98% success rate. and we dealt with the farc and the abu sayyaf and many of the other terrorist organizations out there. with some success. i will tell you in the middle is what we do with isis and al-qaeda, the prognosis for
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success is far more challenging. one of the last big case i was involved in was the danny pearl case and it was clear from the outset that there were no realistic expectations on the part of the kidnappers to get to read so that we have committed. so those are extremely challenging. i'm a big believer in negotiations. negotiations although for some it has become a dirty word means dialogue. it allows us to gather information, by time, develop other options, resources, and sometimes actually resolve and generally does resolve the situation. for me to use of the terri force because of high risk involved should be a last resort, and one that we looked at very carefully because of the risks. what i'm afraid has happened since 9/11 there's been a slow and steady movement towards the exclusive use of the military to deal with these problems.
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as was said, if you're a hammer every problem looks like a nail. i think because we have a robust and strong military, that we are often plagued that option exclusively. i'm the proud father of former navy s.e.a.l. so i am not biased against the military by any stretch of imagination, but i think we have to take a toolbar to these events. we have to have a variety of options available that we look at. peter rings up at the point about negotiations. i would point out that i do not disagree that the u.s. government itself should not be seen as openly willing wanting to be a ransom. i think that has a lot of policy implications. however, i also very strongly don't feel as though the government should try to prevent the family or a company from paying a ransom in a kidnap case. they are far lower expectations on the part of the kidnappers when the family is expected to come up with money that if the
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government is expected to come up with money. i think we need to be true to the policy we have and live up to the aisle given example, if a plane loaded with hijackers and hostages landed at those airport tonight, i guarantee the fbi would negotiate with that plan. on the face of it that would be a violation of our policy. clearly we would do so a note to stabilize the event, tried to secure the release of hostages so that we could gain information and intelligence perhaps secure surrender. but if we don't we have bought time to assemble resources gather information and increase the likelihood that we would be successful if we have to take tactical action. i think that's very important thing to remember them negotiation does not mean weakness. john kennedy said it best. we should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate. so unfortunately for many, the thought of having a conversation
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with terrorists is looked upon and frowned upon as being a capitulation or acquiescence. it's not. i once went to a kidnapping in colombia and the ambassador said, no sense talking to the farc. you can't negotiate with them. i said excuse me mr. ambassador, i've done it 20 times excessively i would argue the point. i was surprised that the diplomat said that. because we should open those conversations and we should always do that. i think families are in the pickle. it's very difficult for them to try to secure the safe release of their loved ones when at the same time there's public pronouncements that we will not negotiate, we will not talk. i think things would be handled far better if the government was a little less vocal on the these matters and supported families and allowed families to conduct negotiations as we used in the fbi and give them all our full and undivided support and share information with the families.
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there is a tendency we have in the government to overly classified information and deny access to the families information that they really need in order to make decisions. so my recommendations are that first and foremost we stop the rhetoric of saying no negotiating, no ransom, we simply replace it with what the true policy is. we will not the government will not make substantive concessions. do not impede families a compass and conducting negotiations and, in fact, actually assist them in the process, support the families fully with as much timely information as we can as we used it in the fbi. i think they still make a good effort to do that. it's important that families are briefed regularly almost on a daily basis on what we are doing their families need information and support. we can't just leave them to their own resources. so i know have a lot of questions coming up but i just want, want to set the stage on
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the. we're talking about a relatively small number of americans who are ground for political kidnappings go although our focus today is on those cases. yet our very from unyielding policy as dictated by some has a more broad effect on every kidnapping and you could be an impediment to really using the vast resource of you in the u.s. government effectively tried resolve these. when i was a young fbi agent we worked a fair number of kidnap for ransom in the united states. this was in the '70s. we almost eliminate that crime in america. not by telling them they couldn't pay, but by going after kidnappers very vigorously identifying them and prosecuting them and putting them in jail at very high rates. this essentially forced criminals to say i'm going to go into another line of work. so it's very rare to have a kidnap for ransom today in the united states. this crime osha's in countries that are dysfunctional, where
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they have corrupt or incompetent law enforcement, incompetent judicial systems. there is no punishment to the kidnappers to mexico city today is the kidnap capital of the world and to think you'll see how that figures out in the way those matters are handled. so that's the equation. we have to try to pursue, not deny the families paying ransom but supporting the families and going after the bad guys after we simply secure the victim. i know for me if it was one of my children, my grandchildren, i would do anything in my power to get them out. thank you. >> this is not in my skill set. i am the mother of seven wonderful children. for more than 30 years those kids have made me happy to be just imam. i have -- just imam. i am so blessed to be the mother
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of seven people i genuinely admire. austin is the oldest a physician. he is the protector of his sisters and considers himself the advisor to his brothers. is truly an eagle scout, he leads the younger scots the austin has always been interested in the big world. is a national merit finalist and entered college just one week after his 16th birthday. in 2004 after graduating from georgetown school of foreign service, during his first semester at georgetown law he joined the marine corps reserve three doors and completed his commitment as a decorated captain. he is still a student at georgetown law and was slated to finally graduate in june 2013. however, the summer before his planned graduation instead of taking an internship, he made
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the decision to go to syria where he became an award-winning journalist. unfortunately, that is also where his plans were interrupted and he was taken captive. i would like to to you about austin's amazing brothers and sisters and my adorable granddaughter, but since austin was taken captive over two and half years ago and our lives were turned inside out and upside down those terrific kids are now commonly referred to as the other children, and i am known as the mother of the hostage. now, my life is defined efforts to determine who is holding my son and how to bring him safely home. in these efforts my husband and i have been determined to leave no stone unturned. we have worked with our government. we have reached out to foreign governments, and we've worked with amazing ngos like
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reporters without borders. we were close with news organizations, especially mccluskey news. we have been supported in amazing ways by austin's huge circle of friends and colleagues, and countless other brilliant and generous people. we have learned more than we ever wanted to know about the united states government and its response to international hostage crises. we were told early on by a departing assistant director of the fbi that it is our responsibility to connect the dots and make sure information is effectively shared within and among u.s. government agencies. this in spite of the fact that information is not shared with us. as most of you may know this event was originally planned as a discussion as carries insight from his career as an fbi
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hostage negotiator and his book. when a friend indeed -- in d.c. told me about this discussion i sent an e-mail to peter introducing myself. peter schiff bonds was quite unexpected. he invited me to come and ask the questions myself. when accepted the invitation, peter sent me a few questions such as giving the white house u.s. hostage paul sica was your assessment of the policy? how might it be improved? well, until november of last year when congressman duncan hunter of california made public a letter from the defense department stating president obama had directed a review of u.s. government hostage policy, we were completely unaware such a policy even existed. though it has informed every moment of our lives for the past
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966 days we still have never seen this policy because it is a classified presidential directive, and we do not have clearance. we have been told by a high ranking government official that current policy is gobbledygook. nonspecific and so overly broad as to have no consistent interpretation. this leads us to conclude this policy can only be improved by creating something entirely new. while we are gratified that the white house has positively responded to an insistence from the families we be included, along with former hostages, in the review process, we are dismayed that classification may prevent us am ever seen the final result. in our meeting with a policy review team we strong suggested
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that the policy must address three main issues. primarily, the soonest and safest return of the hostage. secondly communication within government entities, among government entities, and certainly between the government and the hostages families. last but certainly not least protection of assets, particularly the hostage. it is critical to understand that every hostage situation is unique. instead of an established protocol which often evolves over time into remote reaction, our government must be prepared to draw upon existing resources to assemble a uniquely qualified team to craft a thoughtful measured response on a case-by-case basis.
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this does not require the creation of a new agency. existing resources already dedicated are sufficient. the problem lies in efficiency and effectiveness. as gary writes in his book and visit you said efforts should first and foremost be focused on the safe release of the hostage. there is no one not anyone in the government whose singular mission is the welfare and return of the hostage. every government agency has its own mission agenda. the fbi is pursuing a criminal investigation. state is concerned with matters of foreign policy. the white house focus on national security. all of these entities have a cya protocol and are inherently inside the box and intrinsically risk-averse. ..
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who may have the title into agency hostage recovery coordinator. in every hostage case this individual we will have the singular missing of securing the soonest and safest return the hostage. our our communication will be coordinated and effectively shared through
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this entity. this individual should be the full depository for every last bit of information and intelligence relevant to the hostage situation drawing from every agency and resource available and after a careful evaluation this individual we will designate an appropriate lead agency. there should be no aspect of our governments response which falls into a default. so how does the family fit into the communication matrix? what is our position? from our experience we can
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only get this is not at all addressed in what is considered to be current policy. we have asked and asked and asked to be vetted and given giving parents so that we can have unfettered access to all available information about our funds. similar to gary's experience , we have agreements from individuals
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at the highest level that this is a reasonable request what we have not been able to overcome of
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this experience may be less word for others. nonetheless, our absolute highest priority remains the safe and soon return of our son. we continue to be profoundly grateful of everyone who has helped the case.
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if you have not already done so go to our website and sign the petition to our president urging him to do all he can. also, if you have connections which can help us receive security clearance so we can be fully informed about our sons case , please talk to me after the program. thank you. >> thank you, peter. most of the things pertinent to the case had been said. i want to touch on a couple of things. first of 1st of all i was intimately involved in one of the cases. one one of the things that i learned and i think is important i would not believe 98 percent of what you read in the press. things are taken out of
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context or distorted. people people don't have the right information command that is important. when you come to a situation like this we don't have any experience. we have more and more understanding of what is going on and get more experience. one of the things that we learned early on is the bureaucracy. bureaucracy is an impediment to facilitating progress and it is reactionary. i remember what dick wrote in the book the new prince every four years or eight years a knew administration comes in with lots of ideas. all all they have to do is i could out for a couple of years, like the initiatives command they will die out.
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we go in there have ideas, want answers. the fbi and state department have been doing these things for years and will not shake trees just because we asked them to. the fbi is very, very cautious and work slowly. when there is opportunity for something to happen let's say you get an e-mail from the kidnappers or are in communication with them it will work slowly and cautiously and not want to have as much hope and optimism is the families will. also a problem with the lack of cultural understanding. they did they did not understand what they were dealing with in the region. isis, it was very easy for people like us to know that
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isis could act with impunity this was not a replay a replay of the kidnappings in the 1950s in lebanon where shia radicals kidnapped westerners or put them in houses and villages with false doors and bottoms. these guys were being held in basis and prisons that people go in and out of that people could give us information. they came out. a a prisoner came out and that information. yes. in some cases released. somebody goes in to do something and comes out and says i have seen westerners. so many cases of syrian prisoners being released escaping, seeing westerners. fortunately a lot of this was not real-time.
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most of this it is like a hollywood movie. they slipped through our fingers. we. we had them in a location a week or two ago. we do not have definitive real-time information. talk about the fbi and law enforcement debrief hostages, hostages, they are more interested in putting together a case against the hostage takers as opposed to finding the hostage takers in trying to get a solution to the problem. the problem for people like us we saw the government and the agencies. we dealt with we dealt with so few people above water above ground. they interact and interface
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with the other agencies that we didn't know was going on and it was hard to know anything when people are giving you information. p her briefly spoke about negotiating. you will talk to a terrorist, but don't give them anything. the fbi is like moses. it will bring you the promised land come help you craft e-mails, try to facilitate negotiations, but it will not deliver the money bring the money. it will do everything else which is puzzling for me. it is not difficult to understand. plausible deniability. we didn't do anything. but for the families it is so confusing. the families
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are trying to learn so much and don't understand the nuances and details that people in government have been working with for so many years. it's just one more thing they don't understand. the end of the day they get overwhelmed. they are so overwhelmed sometimes they shut down and let everything go over there had what they get so frustrated and confused that they cannot function anymore one of the problems we had some of the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. the fbi and the state department when you put them in a room there is nobody that has priority over the other. they are both independent agencies and can't tell each other what to do and in many cases they don't know
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what there doing this you tell them what the other agency did. they are not going to know and it is just so frustrating that you see things and can create your own horizon. you wonder what that they are doing all they. congress is an important role. i have spoken out about our frustrations with the administration that they touched on briefly. congress is your best friend your congressman from your home state will help you. you. write letters to the president, write letters to the fbi write letters to the head of the cia to ask questions and open hearings closed hearings. as a your best friends.
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we didn't know that. i have a lot of experience. you need to think outside the box. create a solution. how you'll get a discussion with somebody. he developed a natural creative solution. cannot have creative solutions. well, we never know. i was not i was not averages -- ever able to speak with anyone. the terrorist on always want money. want to her ways to appease. without funding the terrorist infrastructure. from former cases of denial
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of benefits is a shared -- strategy and approach that was used in the past. one of the problems i don't know if this was true or not, but i not but i spoke with people who worked at very high levels in the intelligence community before retiring, they were not share the people in the white house, the presidential directives never instituted under bush. they did not seem that they understood what denial of benefits was. >> what do you mean by that? >> basically you facilitate the transfer of money to the terrorist organization but your stated goal is that they will never benefit from that money. you will deny them the benefit of that money. it is basically follow the money.
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we see this a lot and movies and books. the serial numbers on the dollar bills are traceable. that is why people want their bonds that are traceable. that is one thing. when you deal with these situations on our side debbie and i your most important questions, who are you going to trust. a going to have to put together teams led to certain people creative security team and follow that guy through fire. you have to get guys on the ground. the case of the syrians you tell them everything about everything. they will get information that you never can get, go places of you people get to.
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and of course and of course the fbi, are you going to work with the fbi when they don't tell you anything? it's like a vacuum cleaner. it sucks up information. i can tell you from personal experience it frustrates a number of families. they don't have good relationships. others did. so the family spoke very highly of. you have to choose the right agents. they come in and two-man teams. you can't bring in a guy that is not a sit down at table and talk to her family about the most mundane topic i had an agent who love football. we we spent ten or 15 minutes talking about the ravens. the detroit lions the safety and we talked about that. you need to develop some
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kind of relationship. you you can have some of these bookish guys if you want to make it a priority for the white house. to step up pressure. you do that by going public. the question, you have a dilemma, a dilemma, get increased exposure versus false leads. we were discouraged. several families, and some weren't comfortable with that. but these are some of the things when you think about how you want to leverage your asset and what are the drawbacks. also, this is a unique case but we saw for america is americans being held by the same organization in the same location. it inclines itself to creating a team atmosphere
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where everyone works together. so peter debra tice was an aid worker. foley. they were kidnapped different times but eventually world but together. we had -- the very unique thing is we had permission. put them together. the european hostages come out with everything together and no exactly what's going on in the room from the western perspective and don't need somebody three cells down his name or his people great -- speaking french. so the question is, when you talk about a team of
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hostages, are you going to work as a team or are you going to work individually? if you work as a team a team how we make this collective decision? unanimous majority rule. these rule. these are things we do not think a lot about at the beginning. i i don't think many people have ever encountered. finally the question of ransom. the ransom could have been paid by the family of elian by the end the prices were just so astronomical that only the wealthiest types of families in america could afford to pay that money on their own and it was just futile and quixotic. >> thank you for all the incredibly important questions. gary, you paint a picture of the fbi negotiating as a
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matter of course, having a very very high success rate with groups that were not -- sort of an al qaeda affiliate. pretty major terrorist group it is not -- they are not isis, but isis, but they are still very serious people doing bad things. and then the fbi seems to be stiff arming the families saying nothing, not being helpful. what what happened? what shifted? when did it shift? >> related 90 intel 03 we seem to have greater flexibility and operated with your number of government entities.
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they would employ a trained skilled negotiator. there has been a shift where shift where they send investigators who may not have some of the communication skills that are negotiated would typically have. so many agencies now. a slow and steady movement toward more and more agencies getting funding from terrorism and truly we do sometimes and the many cooks in the kitchen and not sure were trying to make. i i like the idea of a central coordinating. as a group that meets an interagency group but they're really does when i was there, seem to be a lack of clear leadership as to who is in charge. as a problem because of all the resources but we did show a high success rate in the past. i would try to move back toward the successful model.
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too many too many people contacting the families giving them contradictory information. we used to share things that were well beyond security restrictions. now there are so many other entities involved in each agency may be scared to do that. >> it sounds like a good idea. he or she would be responsible for the two dozen americans being held. and for this to work. critically without a senior director at how it work? would have to be someone who could boss people around and lots of different places. someone with presidential authority. and i think that is lacking. one other issue.
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i clearly here the families perceive the fbi is more interested in criminal prosecution. that is not the case. i clearly here families perceive the fbi is more interested in criminal prosecution. that is not the case that has been a change i am not aware of. prosecution was a distant 2nd. it was it was the legal basis upon which the fbi becomes involved but it was often an unrealistic goal command we knew it. the important goal was to get the hostage home alive. >> this question of getting family security clearance. let's delve into that a bit. you go through a background check. you would only be given information that relates to your case. case. the selective are going to hand you top secret information. in the near clearance is to be revoked. >> persecution. >> right. this gets around your
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observation, a lot of three letter agencies in the world i no the family has the right clearances command is a nonissue. >> i worked the case after a retired. the us government got a videotape of a prison camp in which they have been held in recently moved from. they did not share that with the family. it was hardly top-secret information but when they prosecuted one of the terrorists involved they showed in open court and the families were understandably furious. why weren't we see this detail videotape so that we had an idea of the conditions. it is these kinds of mistakes that happened because there are too many people making these decisions. >> there was the issue raised about going public. i no that you in your case
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his sons were taken in syria. a nonissue for you. where you where you worked it's a big issue for the defense contractors. the families heard nothing. tell us what happened. >> this case the defense contractors plane was on contract from the us government. crashed due to an engine failure. one american and one american in the coming officer were executed right away. this case did receive sufficient notoriety. this seems to it seems to be a fact that is accepted by everyone that no publicity is always best. often but not always the case.
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a number of cases where we effectively use the media to saving a man's life by the messages we crafted. there is a time and place for everything. that blanket, blind doctrine is unwise. >> what are the up-and-down sides of going public? >> well, there is time to appeal. in the case are referred to it turns to execute the sandman. they have a track record of doing just that. they were going to do this as a birthday present. we at that time and for the 1st time had the same man's mother make some very direct appeals very well-crafted messages personally went to the philippines under our guidance and support and painted a very a very positive picture of her son to the extent that he did not carry out the execution
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because he came there to marry a philippine girl : is a was a good person converts the muslim religion before he went to the philippines. we feel as though they backed away from that fear of losing some support amongst whatever their followers were. that is just one example of many where we try to come in now is a good time for us to come forward and make a statement. always bad, never do it _ _-dash is someone doesn't know how negotiations were. >> let me ask you a question. he represented steve selva. you you were in touch with isis. >> yes. >> what were you doing for the family? you worked on some of these other cases. over you doing? another question, i guess most people would say that
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they always wanted to kill his americans. you are saying there was a moment when are asking for smaller amounts of money in a negotiation might have been possible? >> i am saying that there were no negotiations. diane foley spoke earlier. they asked for hundred million euros. they would appear and disappear. but for what i was doing certainly we had to get information. it was such a unique situation that we were able to get information from prisons where people were about isis prisons in this locale. wait until the picture was released. seventeen days see details who took them to where they were taken to what direction we will is going on in the prison, try to put these together based on what other
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fighters from other brigades were in that prison to look at the prison. and once you have that information you just wait. you get your syrian to put you in touch with other syrians. and they will start mapping how provinces for you. you get all kinds of information. that is the situation. >> hostage rescue. >> well,. >> well, the 1st thing is, you want to no your guys alive. you have foley thanksgiving .12 and there is not a setting of them until august 2013. so so his family did not know what had happened.
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they thought he had been killed. the man he was taken with testified in open court. so basically you want to know that your guys still alive doing okay a very important you don't want your guide to be alone. you will call the wall. anyone who has been put in a cell all those that is the worst feeling in the world. you want to know that he is with other people and has something to do while they. >> the american journalist was released. the government which had some sway in syria. now, we don't know the
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circumstances, but i doubt they just had a good day. this is an interesting precedent for some of the things we're talking about. the us government clearly i don't think it was -- i mean, it is possible. being held by al qaeda, not a nice people. something allow them to release this american journalist. you you have a sense of what that something is? >> the circumstances surrounding the release will come up soon. what happens is i don't know everything.
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they can going in. to the organizations and are willing to help us. whatever negotiations happen become expedited. they do not want to be put in the same basket. >> i think the use of intermediaries is critical. the us government cannot sit down at the a coffee table these folks. we have to use intermediaries. this is one of the areas there are a lot of charlatans the come forward. but they say we can do this we can do that. that that is one of the holes where the us government has to play a particularly important part of that that for the families and to let them
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know what is going on. my negotiators used to sit down and say here is what we are doing and why. i think things have changed a bit. of of the intermediary referred i went to work in the private sector in this kidnapping. during the five and a half years the us government did nothing other than prepare for military rescue. they they wanted to find out why these guys weren't go after them. the only intermediaries were done by the company i work for on behalf of the family. that was disappointing for me because it is a departure from what we had done for the previous 13 years. parts of that is perception that we contact the church with the red cross whatever it might be that was akin
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to negotiating capitulating. one more thing the thing that surprises me so much is from every politician, a policy of no ransom no negotiation protects americans. unequivocally there is zero evidence to support that americans are kidnapped in us because of this policy and zero evidence that this policy helped perpetuate their safe release. no one has shown me any statistics. i no of no group. allowing this to restrict the flexibility is a close minded approach. >> i guess the counterargument is the
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french new york times investigation that showed the french citizens were being taken a higher rate. these are all countries where these people have been taken. i agree with you. there is no evidence. what would that evidence look like if it existed? >> well, we with the other americans were released as soon as they were grabbed by there simply not taken to begin with. to me, the policy either should work to prevent americans from being grabbed or help secure their safe and timely release. it seems like common sense. certainly they will see there's nothing to be
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gained. >> you are looking at the case in 1976 hijacks a. carrying israelis and make carrying and divide the. the israelis and the jewish sounding names and let everyone else go. you don't have that happen in kidnappings. you don't have smaller parents no they are going to get on the boat and who there going to find. that said, when you look at people being taken in higher numbers the number of americans of passports climate in depth. they had a policy across the board.
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they persuaded the government to release. the 2nd they were in the force. the policy has not been uniform. those countries from you don't have americans traveling. yemen, you will see a lot of french in yemen. you don't see that many americans. as of the issues as well but that won't change until you have a uniform policy that everyone ascribes to. if there is no ransom it's useless to try to kidnap anybody. >> that's not practical. >> right. what everyone is saying is we need a practical policy. every case is different. >> the problem is that requires a lot of effort.
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>> the government does not like nuance. we like yes or no. >> absolutes. these cases are the essence of nuance. you have jesus spectrum of creative ideas, sometimes ideas, sometimes an intermediary, sometimes go public, sometimes the rescue , the whole gamut. and what is the best way to get the hostage out alive the fbi virtually eliminated kidnapping many years ago because the bad guys got arrested and served lengthy jail sentences. look at somalia as a bit instructive. with all the ships hijacked have a a company said, we will just pay the money. then this became such a problem they started to put armed guards and the navy's are out there. we have little of that today rather than saying we cannot pay ransom we went after the bad guys.
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that is the solution. keep the people out alive and then pursue the bad guys and make them pay a price. simply tell the family's -- families -- they tried this in colombia malaysia and the italians tried banning the payment of ransom to the families did it without telling the authorities. it does not work. >> it is to be expected. these kids are amazing. in the absence of a mother and father they been together and look out for each other. it is not easy. they miss having the mom and dad fully on board and engaged.
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>> we we will open it up to questions because we have a c-span live audience. wait for the microphone before you start talking and identify yourself. no questions? >> some of you mentioned the media involved and whether or not to go public. is there any communication debra tice were kayfive, with barak barfi with the state department before they put out a statement? if not should that not should that be part of the protocol? >> yeah. when you talk about media local media that does not -- does not understand anything in the national media that always look out for your best interest.
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if you are going to pull out something you can crafted with them and do focus group testing. they will do what they want. we went to the media and had ideas about planting something. they were fully cooperative. your only problem is that you and local media is just not going to understand the magnitude and ramifications of reporting that a guy is the descendent of holocaust survivors. going to understand certain elements that you don't want a lot of this is common knowledge amongst journalists. >> you are saying the national media is pretty good about not supporting things that will put people in danger. >> exactly.
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>> they did not report on it. they all know about it. they did not report on it. there not even trying to scoop. they don't care about that. i don't even know if i should say the name but big journalists club balance ideas compiled your hand. >> the journalists the media gets a lot criticism. it does do a good job of self-censorship on issues. >> all of them came out. a miscommunication between some people in the entourage
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they released that there was some type of ultimatum that have been made. they reached out and the media did not go with that. it was a miscommunication. it stopped stopped and no one else was talking about. >> disagree to some extent. there seems to have emerged a bit of a double standard. it has been it has been told to me by my friends in the by that they are ready and willing and cooperative to keep it on things. what it when it is not there seems to be a different approach taken and less sensitivity to the problems and issues involved. that may not be correct but anecdotally i threw a viewing. >> talking about when they have the sniper in the dc area and talking about he
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was not a very good shot because he kept hitting the justice of the head. it was as if he was taking his cues from the media. if media. if i understand correctly, coordination with the family and state and crafting a media message. we experience that early on. folks in our government could hardly wait to show how smart they were in not being tracked by the content of video. if you are really smart people will figure it out. and so we spent almost two years walking that back. >> the video shows austin taken out in the countryside
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just more common to afghanistan and syria. and so our government was eager to say this is happening in syria. this is a hoax. well, you know that may not have been the 1st thing that needed to be said. >> and what venue did they make the statements? >> if you're going to try to approach someone to help you , you maybe don't want to come right out of the gate calling a liar. that may that may make your communication for more difficult. recently we had an incident where there was discussion about austin having been seen. once again the 1st thing that they wanted to happen is people want to show i'm too smart. thanks be to god two and half years we did work
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together and we responded together to the news rather than having anybody pursue their own agenda and go off on their own. it was the 1st time that we really felt that we were part of the team and that we came up with a response together. >> if i could comment. when i would say i think i think it is a good or bad idea to make a statement. however, it is always the families right to make a statement. if they decide to do so we try to craft a statement that will be positive and have an impact because it is a secondary a secondary way through which you can conduct negotiation. on the government piece, the government want to know what the families will say. i think that is a missing piece we have seen in the past because the multiple
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agencies involved. it is important when i advise corporate clients the 1st thing i say is the whatever you say it is shared with the family with workers public. given that 1st look at it. just an important. >> a great example of how this bureaucracy has become hold by its own method -- misinterpretation policy and institutional protocol. we were asking how about this. well, your first amendment right. we can't advise you on what to say. i should not have anything to do with a first amendment right. they would not advise us. that doesn't sound too bad. well, does it sound fantastic?
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my so's life is on the line. >> we used to craft a a statement. >> we have first amendment rights and you are violating them. >> elementary. >> thank you for sharing your experiences. a quick question. each have talked a lot about the election should between families and the government. i was wondering if you could touch bit more on the intermediaries at the companies they might be working for how they work into the relationship. >> well, it well it can become a problem. the government sees the family has been the entity that officially is to be favorably for coordinated with. when there when there is a
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company involved it can become complicated. sometimes they can get cut have process. for me you have to identify the involved stakeholders. in the briefings have to be focused on keeping everyone on the same sheet of music. you have to keep everyone in the tent. families are not just mom and dad. hansen locals and brothers and sisters. almost always a family member decides this is the five minutes of fame, fame, and they are going to say and do a lot of things that truly are counterproductive to the case. case. that is one of the reasons that the government is where he. i i believe there are ways to manage that probably combating the families and giving them appropriate clearances. >> when. >> and you look at third-party intermediaries two types. people like me regular
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civilians. we don't make a lot of headway because just like you said, they think that your looking out mostly to try to get a 15 minutes of fame and are going to upset the wagon. then you have other third-party intermediaries members of the intelligence community who work closely worked closely with a lot of people in the former positions that have a lot of experience how the government works and they are able to open up certain dollars that people like me cannot and will say to senior people on a weekly basis. i don't know if it is because of other people were involved that have his representation or things i heard on the phone how they address them, what they said
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a lot of this stuff stuff when you say with people in the government you want to listen because they don't want to say anything but at some time they say something when they are not trying to and you can put things together. third-party intermediaries i think that they do have more traction. >> interestingly enough diane foley contacted me and asked the fbi she could speak to me. we spoke. he said the. someone reportedly from someone reportedly from the national security council had written the foley family with prosecution. had i been advising her at the time i would have said, tell him to go fly a kite because no one has ever been prosecuted no family member well, no one ever for paying ransom.
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if it is a family member they never we will be. there is a german of the jury through the book because this but the million dollars save her son. it's not going to happen. to make those threats is disingenuous and insulting. whoever said that in the government probably should be only rented job. >> a third-party mediator. he cannot extend that umbrella and that is the problem. >> you are saying they can go fly came because they are not going to -- >> you are absolutely right. >> will be in the donors i bring to the table. by saying something like that they are putting out there.
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>> they could. it is only a matter of time. i'm confident if that goes to court there going to be -- that while will be thrown out. felt was an extortion bribery situation. there is no precedent for this. it is an idle threat and saber rattling. >> well, since well, since we're on the subject does try and do some math about what the portion of payroll is coming from kidnapping. let's say they are getting and billion a billion dollars a day. >> it was a million. but 23 million euros for hostages.
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early on that money is important. we know isis has a big strategy with hostages for how they solve these things. nothing happens the way they thought it would. early on that money is important because it does not have a lot of money. it has broken away from al qaeda. also has to deal with internal dynamics. some of these people were kidnapped before there was an isis. if i have a hostage in my group of leverage that position and get more commanders can access to better weapons. it is an internal thing. a a lot of factors and ramifications. down the road the amount of
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money they are getting from the hostages the don't need any more. running the protection racket. the discrepancy in differences between the oil revenues out of syria being refined individually vis-à-vis what you are doing with massive refineries is completely different. so just to reiterate, at the beginning the money is somewhat important. by the end it amounts to nickels and dimes. >> it is a matter of degrees no one wants to see 40 million are hundred million. there is a lower expectation that the families will come up with a big amount of money. and it is better for the family do the negotiation and not the government. i'll give you a good example
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in 1990 after the africa for kidnapping and say your. the terrorist group were holding this american and wanted money to buy weapons. that was very much against us policy. we crafted a deal to get the medical supplies and blankets and vehicles. everyone was happy and we save someone's life. i doubt that would work today. during the three defense contractors the company wanted to send in backpacks for each man, prescription eyeglasses, man, prescription eyeglasses, medicine, socks, underwear and the justice department threatened them for prosecution. 25,000 plus army that did not need the backpacks
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prescription, prescription glasses. it was ludicrous and we get them to back off and made delivery. >> but a concession there is a way for the us government to do it if you allow sufficient space and time. the same day that the taliban guys are released in the quid pro quo is obvious, but if we have a more flexible policy there is a a way to do some of that we just discussed. make it less obvious. >> there also has to be a desire to be created, and desire to be flexible. the same guy that threaten the families three times with prosecution when i ask -- yes, i do. what are we going to do to get clearance he told us to illustrate telling us to the insurance.
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the he told us that it would cost us over a hundred thousand dollars and take more than 15 months. the same exact person. i mean, the disinformation is just astounding. >> another idea. i think a not uncommon view in the united states is well, these guys or girls were in syria and therefore they were in a risky situation. my response would be, be, well, if we're going does -- by definition journalists will be in dangerous places. the not reporting in great numbers in switzerland because nothing happens there. and similarly and similarly for the ngo community by definition they are not in switzerland. so one responses, well, they are in a dangerous place he
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will forget about the then -- >> i get e-mails. >> saying what. >> exactly that. >> here is the deal. when you get a resolution libya libya is a closed country and we we're not getting information out, the 1st people go in there he gets a story and is able to find out who these rebels are and we are putting together they are because the cia does not have that information. they do they do not no these things. go read george stephanopoulos his memoirs. and we have that ranger problem had a they out? they turned on cnn. that is the way these things are. there was -- i was on one of the programs to make
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statements or for the companies and there was a navy seal involved in the bin laden raid come made come on and say does not want to go in to save these people. people like him for soldiers are there to carry out duties. they duties. they are not paid to think. they don't write research papers. that is some of these dilemmas. i was on the border went went in. such a fermenting time, such an important time in the borders it opened in weapons were coming in and there was a a chance that the regime could have been talked about at that time he was providing crucial information that we did not have assets inside syria. we we had no way of getting information.
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people like austin want. she was doing a great service to his country. we country. we have to do everything we can to help get them out. ..


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